Team Rotary RAAMs polio winning at Race Across America 2019

Team Rotary RAAMs polio winning Race Across America 2019

Great achievement for the Team Rotary RAAMs polio that last June confirmed the first place in their category and improved the record!

Thousands kilometers of training and thousands kilometers to ride before the finish line… day and night, sun and rain to cross the United States by bike, from the West coast to the East one, through 3000 miles, 12 states and 175 feet of difference in high… this is Race Across America!

Joining this amazing experience is not the main aim of the Team Rotary RAAMs polio, but rather raising money to eradicate polio worldwide.

Since last year, DERWID has supported and shared the commitment of Team Rotary RAAMs Polio in reaching this goal.

Team Rotary RAAMs polio: a project of people to people.

We have met Kurt Matzler, Management professor at the University of Innsbruck in Austria and rider of the Team Rotary RAAMs polio since 2016, to ask him more details about the experience of this year.

The Team ‘Rotary RAAMs Polio’ consists on three men and a woman, from Italy, Austria and USA. You run the Race Across America to raise money to help eradicate polio worldwide.
When and why did you start this amazing project?

Bob McKenzie from USA formed the Team Rotary Raams Polio in 2016. His vision was to combine our passion for cycling with raising money to make a significant contribution to eradicate Polio. I was lucky enough to be selected for the team as the only European in 2016.

We finished the race as a four men team and raised about USD 300,000. Inspired by our success, we decided to race again in 2017.

Six weeks before the start, one of the racers had to step back because of serious health issues. My wife Ruth was foreseen as a crew member. She is also a great cyclist, so this was her moment. We could convince her to step in. We raced as a mixed team and finished in a little more than seven days and could raise more than USD 500,000 for Rotary’s End Polio Now program.

Ruth was so excited that she pushed us to do RAAM again in 2018 and 2019. In both years we won our race category and set new records. 3,069 miles in 6 days, 14 hours and 6 minutes. But what makes us really happy are the donations. More than USD 3 million in those four years! More than 5 million children received a vaccination.

RAAM 2019- 1st place in your category and more than 1,250,000$ raised to eradicate polio: another great achieved goal! Congratulations!
Which was the most meaningful moment of this edition?

Thank you. We are really proud of this. But we could not have achieved this without the great help of our crew, the support of our sponsors, and all the people and Rotary Clubs that donated for our project.

For me there were three meaningful moments. The first one was a minute before our press meeting in Oceanside, two days before the start, when Bob told me that we have achieved a million in donations. We had already won before the start!

The second one was during the race. One of our support vehicles was involved in a horrible car accident. When I woke up from a power nap, I saw the picture of the completely destroyed car on its roof on the highway. Thanks God nobody was hurt. This accident reminded us all of how dangerous RAAM can be.

The third moment was when we arrived in Annapolis at 5:30 in the morning at sunrise. Not only we won, we set a new record! But more important, everybody arrived safe.

Looking to the future: which is the next goal of your team for 2020?

We have not yet decided whether we race again in 2020.

RAAM and our donation program requires a whole year of hard work. You need to find a great crew, consisting of 14 people that put all their efforts in this project. You need to find sponsors to cover the USD 50,000 of expenses. You need to spend all your available time to raise donations. There is not one day during the whole year, on which you don’t think of RAAM and don’t work for the project – Christmas maybe the only exception. On the other side everybody feels a kind of obligation to continue if you think of millions of children that can be protected from this horrible disease.

DERWID is thankful to the team for what they are doing and proud to be one of their sponsors.


Team Rotary RAAMs Polio riding at Race Across America 2019

DERWID with Team Rotary RAAMs Polio at Race Across America 2019

Race Across America 2019 is about to start: DERWID is supporting Team Rotary RAAMs Polio to raise awareness and money to eradicate Polio from the world.

Team Rotary RAAMs Polio 2019

For the 4th time this year Team Rotary RAAMs Polio will participate to Race Across America, known as one of the toughest events in the world.

In 2018 Team Rotary RAAMs Polio placed first in their race category, finishing the race under 7 days and raising $1,000,000 for their cause.

In less than 3 weeks, the team will be on bike again to cross America in only one week and confirm last year’s successes.

Members of Team Rotary RAAMs Polio 2019 are 3 men and woman, aged 50 to 59 years old, from Austria, Italy and United States. After the results of 2018, Kurt Matzler, Bob McKenzie, Ruth Brandstaetter and Markus Mayr, are highly motivated for this year edition of Race Across America. Their 14 members crew from Austria and USA will accompany and support the 4 racers during this week.

On Sunday, June 15th the 4 athletes will start this tough and amazing race from Oceanside, California. They will ride alternately without interruptions approximately 3,000 miles, crossing 12 States regardless of the weather to reach Annapolis, Maryland, until Sunday, June 22nd.

Goal 2019: Raise $ 1,200,000 to eradicate Polio worldwide

This year the goal is to raise $ 1,200,000 for Rotary’s Polio Plus campaign to eradicate Polio worldwide.
When Rotary International started the campaign in 1985, there were 350,000 cases reported per year in the world. Today there are only two endemic countries remaining with just 33 cases reported in 2018.

If the goal is reached, 2 million children will be vaccinated against Polio. Another further step to get ZERO cases for next years.
Until now Team Rotary RAAMs Polio has raised over $630,000. There is still time to support the team in reaching their goal for 2019 before the race: here you could find all the information about this year’s campaign.

DERWID appreciates and shares the commitment of Team Rotary RAAMs Polio in reaching this hopeful goal.
We are looking forward to following your bike adventure!

Team Rotary RAAMs polio winning at Race Across America

Team Rotary RAAMs polio

Today we tell you an unbelievable story:

4 people from 50 to 59 years old and  from 3 different countries decided to cross the United States by bike, from the West coast to the East one, through 3000 miles, 12 states and 175 feet of difference in high, in only one week!

But… there is more!

This challenge is not only athletic. They try to raise money to fight against polio, a terrible disease that affects million of children worldwide.

Thousands kilometers of training and thousands kilometers to ride before the finish line… day and night, sun and rain… without stops but always together with their amazing staff… and then, after 6 days, 18 hours and 4 minutes… on Saturday 23rd June they won the 1st place!!!

And there is even more: before and during the race, Team Rotary RAAMs polio has raised more than USD 1 million!!!

As you can image, it’s not a fairy tale, everything is true!

Derwid is very proud of these two big results and happy to take part to this project by sponsoring these amazing people!

Congratulations dear friends!